Monday, October 25, 2021

A Stitching Only Post

      My little stitching friends... this post is for you. I am going to refrain from telling about a new rug, sharing a grandbaby picture and all that of jazz. I know many of my stitching friends don't mind all that, but I am going to just talk stitching today.

I haven't done a stitching post where I just share all the thoughts in a while so along with what I am stitching I am going to share the thoughts that ramble around in my ole noggin.

I finished the Santa that I said I was stitching for my mother. Yes, I went with the called for darker red since it was a prefect match for the fabric that I want to use to make a standing frame for the stitch. I originally picked up the brighter color because I had Mother in mind, but I didn't choose well.  I am not so good at switching colors which I will talk about in a bit more.

The stitching for the Santa is finished, but if I waited until I finished it into the little standup frame this post might never get done. I will be using the cute little fabric pictured with it. Although it will be Christmas before I know it.

One thing about these Prairie School Santas that I learned stitching this one is that I really like them done with the smaller count linen. I don't know what it is about them, but I like them smaller. However, I do think this will be cute done up in a little standing frame though. I forget what those things are called that Vonna did the tutorial for. I generally do just a flat finish and put on an easel, but for this one I want it to stand alone.

Now, let's just talk ---unload my mind about some stitching stuff...IT will be a rabbit hole kind of post.

I am not good at changing out colors. I am a lover of color...not even a wee bit of a neutral girl, but for some reason I don't see color well. I have a color wheel that I use to match things and depend on my husband who sees things so differently than me. He can pick out the right shade and match up something so well at the paint store. I am not sure if I am explaining that well, but I am not good at changing up a designer's thoughts.

That said, I have wanted to stitch this verse for so long. I won't get into the details but it is a favorite. I have looked and looked for a pattern with it, but to no avail. I finally found this pattern, but those colors are so neutral and don't represent my love of color.

I have been on a quest to change it all up. I am not sure I love what I have done and I have tried to skip around to get to places where I could see the colors I had in mind together. The bottom line on my thinking is I am STILL not sure I like where it is headed. I have wanted to give up on it more than once. That is not like me. I also have another stitch I have wanted to give up on too. So I had to ask myself what is going on, Sandy? Anyway, here is where I am and I am laying her aside for now. That is another thing...what is going on with me having so many works in progress?

Here is the progress on the other large stitch I have ongoing. This one caught my eye and now for some reason the luster of it is gone. I do think when it is finished it will be pretty and I will be proud of myself. I have given myself grace to know it will be a very long time before it is finished because I am not feeling it. I think when I get closer to the end I will get excited about it again and maybe will have some get up and go about it again. I think I have learned a wee lesson here about choosing such a large project again.

I am still plugging along on my heron. Out of the larger projects I am doing I have not lost motivation to do this, but I have been so busy lately and this one is one you really have to be careful on and pay attention to detail. I will get him done, but he too will have to be done in small spurts of time. I look forward to his completion though.

I didn't take the heron out of the Q-snaps but he is so pretty. 

Now, that I have shared 3 very large works in progress I will say I fell into a bit of a stitching slump. Now, that is not like me at all. I LOVE cross stitching. It is my most favorite hobby followed by reading. So how did this happen? 

Well, I think several factors played into it.

1) I had 3 large projects going, one of which seemed overwhelming (the Let Freedom Ring) and one that I had to think too much about color changes (the verse) and then the huge heron that takes tons of concentration.

2) I had taken a step back from stitching so many smalls. I had decided I had nowhere to put them and then I honestly had not seen any cute patterns that just rang my bell. We will talk about these smalls more!

3) I had stepped away from just about everything except a few blogs, an occasional stroll through Instagram and hardly any Flosstube. Why you ask? Well, I had just too much information coming in! The world seemed nutty to me and everyone felt compelled to share their political views. I am going to completely honest with you. I unfollowed a ton of stitchers and pulled way back from even getting on any of it. I was just needing a break. With that pullback I saw little new stuff and kind of lost my inspiration for a bit. It was probably not a bad thing, but my stitches that I had going weren't really making me happy.

That break did me good though. When I did pop in I also decided I would be wise and just write down things I saw that I liked. I didn't want to go back to that impulse buying that I have toned down immensely. I was still trying to be disciplined and finish the things I had started. I wasn't feeling any joy though. I would write titles down and mull them over a long time. 

Slowly I have allowed myself to buy some things and I feel my inspiration coming back. Instagram is like reading a magazine to me. I like to look at pictures of cross stitch and pretty homes and pretty scenery. I wouldn't pick a magazine that had stuff I didn't like. That kind of explains my pull back from it.

We are going back to #2 in a minute but another thing that has really sunk in is how much I love to cross stitch and how much I need the hobby in my life. It is total relaxation to pull that needle back and forth especially when I am watching a project come to life that I love. 

That leads me to #2. SO WHAT IF I HAVE NO ROOM for those little guys. The pure pleasure and the good it does me to stitch is worth having some sit in a drawer. I studied on that a bit and while I have still been on my downsizing /decluttering trip around the house I really spent some time mulling over what to do with those little smalls. I think I came up a with an idea. I have been still culling the room I call my sewing room where very little sewing takes place. HaHa. I should change the name to work room (like teachers call the little room where bulletin board paper is in) or office. The room has always been a room that can get kind of junky. You may remember I added a long basket across that work counter. Well, it didn't take long before that was driving me crazy. 

To make a long story short I have really been culling and rearranging in there when I had some free moments. I spend a lot of time in that little room so I want it to be full of the things I like. I have freed up some space for smalls and given myself a place to house them. I found I didn't like them so much scattered everywhere around the house. Maybe at some point down the road I will share some pictures of my progress, but it is still a work in progress.

Anyway, my inspiration is back. My hobby is back and life feels a bit better even though I have a lot going to keep me a bit bonkers.

I purchased some new "large pieces" and yea, I know they will take a long time, but I waited so long on both of them that I felt sure I was making the right decision. 

One is a Thanksgiving stitch. I have wanted one for a long time. I really was on a search for one that I could put a verse of "We Gather Together" on it, but never came across the just right thing. I did however look at the stitch I bought for months on end mulling it over. I finally decided to purchase it. The girl on Instagram who did this and inspired me did hers on 20 count Aida. I had no idea this existed but I am choosing that to do mine. It will probably Thanksgiving 2023 before it is completed and that is ok.  

I also purchased this sampler by Plum Street Samplers. I looked it such a long time as well and gave myself permission to purchase it. 

I just really wanted to start this one so I did.

I have two new larger things to start which means the ones I am on the fence about will linger or get me going again. Either way, pulling that needle in and out is totally good for me.

I also have some smalls I am excited about again. They will be sprinkled between the larger pieces for that instant satisfaction. I had said no more fall but with my new ideas in the "sewing room" I now can add some more seasonal pieces for all the seasons.

First up in the smalls is some Christmas pieces. I have been thinking about the Christmas village pieces by Little House Needleworks even before I saw Debbie at Country Stitchers on Flosstube. She has done them together rather than as smalls and they are simply amazing. I have been intrigued by them so much, but couldn't quite make myself ever start on them. After much much much thought ranging from Debbie's idea to little pillow to all sorts of things. I even debated did I want to do them like a town that had meaning to me....a combination of Brewton and Monroeville where I grew up or like Fort Walton Beach. Now, if I did Fort Walton Beach then they couldn't look like winter scenes could they? I mean I think I have thought of every sort of idea. I love them and they just keep me bringing back to them. I have three of the patterns  and think it is time to start somewhere. I have landed on individually done rather than a large piece. I have also landed on those stand up framed pieces with a Fort Walton Beach flare. I will try and personalize them when I can with things from here past and present. Anyway, it is a start. I am looking forward to stitching them.

I have chosen this one to start the series.

Let's wrap this up. I have so many things I want to stitch and there will never be enough time, but it is a wonderful time filler in the evenings. It is a great stress reliever. Nothing lasts forever. Yes, some of my stitching will end up at a thrift store because I wouldn't want my kids to keep them JUST because I stitched them. It doesn't matter...I enjoy it and it brings me joy.

I have several smalls that Lindsay wants for the season after Christmas so I should have plenty to keep me busy and to allow for stress relieve.

I have allowed myself for buy some new things and old stuff or stuff I don't care for anymore can be passed on to someone who will like it. I feel better. My slump is over!!!

I hope my crazy thoughts helps someone else sort through their stashes and thoughts.

Happy stitching,


Thursday, October 21, 2021

A Little Update

 I didn't plan on being gone as long as I have been but life just has me hopping right now. I don't think it will ease up for a while. I hardly get to read comments let alone read other blogs. It is just how it is right now. It will ease up with time I hope anyway....

Before I get started with the life updates, I promised pictures of Gus last time. Get ready as he has been quite photogenic with his haircut.

I think he knows how to make himself comfortable.

Here is a little bit of what has been going on.

We played tourists by going on one of the boats in Destin. The large pirate ship has captivated Tucker's attention since early spring. He always looks for it in the bay and in the harbor, so Lindsay decided to check in to it for his birthday. This is the kind of thing we would never think of going to here locally but would absolutely have done it on vacation. I highly recommend it to those visiting Destin with elementary age children. Tucker did enjoy it, but I think the kids who were 6 or 7 is the best age for it. It was family friendly and kept the kids busy for the entire time on the boat. There were tons of activities and the kids basically never sat except for a few minutes to hear about the treasure that they were to find shortly. I wish I had more pictures to share but I was busy holding the baby to let everyone enjoy Tucker. Tucker had both sets of grandparents on board with him and we were by far the oldest people on board

The pirate ship ride was on Friday afternoon and then Tucker had a race car themed birthday party at home in the backyard on Saturday afternoon. He was so excited. He had such a busy weekend that he went to bed at 6:45 that night.

Lindsay used simple decorations but Tucker loved them and was showing them off to Kyleigh (Katie's little cousin). Kyleigh was spending the weekend with Paul Allen and Katie and was so happy to get to come to the party. She was amazing with the little ones. 

Uncle Paul Allen and Katie's gift was some capes and masks for playtime. There was enough to go around for the attendees so they were a huge hit.

Then boys both were sick in this absence of mine but both are better now. Tucker got his first antibiotic ever and Palmer's sickness lasted about 48 hours. He ran a low grade fever which just made him feel awful and he didn't have his sweet smile. He is about to receive the nickname Smiley because he smiles all the time and is really cooing these days. I am so glad they are feeling better. I had to keep Tucker two days one week and then 2 days the next as he had a fever as well. In between that Mom got sick as well and is on another antibiotic. She is halfway through taking it. Praying she makes it before it does her in. On the upside to all of that, I have not been sick at all. Whew!

I have been busy with a few other things which aren't exactly blog fodder but they have kept me away and will for a few more weeks. 

In gardening notes, I decided I loved those day lilies so much that I planted in the spring that I would order some more and I planted them around Labor Day. I knew they would have time to get settled in before any cold weather came. They have popped up and should be gorgeous next spring. One of them has been so happy that it bloomed. Bayou Bride she is called. I love her ruffled edges.

Isn't she lovely?

This plum color was this year's choice of color for my pots on the side of the garage. They just arrived this week. Pansies are a winter flower here in my neck of the woods.

I also planted some broccoli that has beautiful leaves so we will see if they actually produce. 

The peppers are still going strong and there are three pots of broccoli.

The weather the past two weeks has been amazing. Not necessarily fall like - maybe fall like in Florida. I have enjoyed strolling Palmer and walking Gus AND just sitting out on the porch.

The following pictures happened in the past two weeks. I was sad to see it. 

The bulldozer arrived and took all the trees at the water's edge.

Below is today's view.

Nothing lasts forever.
The lot across the bayou that has been wooded and provided me with a great view of trees and wildlife was cleared to make room for a house. The animals and me are sad. That lot was the only real sign of fall leaves anywhere other than an occasional Japanese Maple in someone's yard. The second week of December each year it would look like a mini New Hampshire. 

The moonscapes on the bayou have been so pretty this fall. The sunrises too. I suppose it is time to share with the builders of the new home across the way:)

This morning just before 7 AM

Let's see some pictures of the other little munchkin who has my heart.

Palmer is 3 months old today.

Lindsay has started putting a number on her healing and getting better to keep me informed. She says she is at 85% and hopes by January when she has her appointment that she will be at 100% and won't have need of it.

Tucker now has all the Paw Patrol pups. Adorable.

I am blessed!

My days are busy so I pretty much sleep well. I have been trying so hard to stay awake to watch the Braves in the NL championship. We are at 3-1 right now and they are headed back to Atlanta. Can they pull one more game off and put themselves in the World Series? Our family is hoping so!!!
I have fallen asleep while trying hard not to for more than one game.

Oh one more thing to this very long post that has taken most of the day to write:)
Katie and Paul Allen redid the doors in the entry way that I shared in the last post.
The doors before:

And after they added some trim and painted.

Seriously, how cute?!!!

I will try and share some stitching soon. I am so motivated to stitch but almost too tired and too busy to get much done. 

Happy October,

Thursday, October 7, 2021

A Life Update and a Little Cross Stitching

     The days are pretty ordinary around here now. I am falling into a routine with little Palmer. He is really an easy baby. I will share more about him near the end of the post. Now for a little brain dump...

     I think I have mentioned that has been so rainy. It has been raining since April. It hasn't stopped and has been causing lots of trouble. The creeks and rivers are swollen and even the ground is saturated. I have seen so many little pumps around the area trying to pump water to other places. Well, two nights ago we had two lines of rain come through. The second one was the final straw for many places. My little hometown just across the Alabama line flooded. The pictures were so hard to see. My folks had a business downtown Brewton years ago. That area was eventually bought out by the state and the Army Corps of Engineers did a lot of work and it has helped tremendously but not enough. I am ready for fall now so maybe we can get some cooler weather and less rain and the threat of storms in the Gulf will be behind us.

Here are a few pictures of the flooding...

The above photo is where one creek backs up to the back side of town. The purple area is where my folks' business was many years ago. They had Brewton Small Motors on this very spot. You can see that when it flooded that the building would have had water in it on the back side.  The entire area to the right of that should not have water. The Army Corps of Engineers changed it to help some and now that area is a great park with a walking trail along Burnt Corn Creek. 
One other note on the above picture. The movie theater used to be where that odd white thing is to the left of the business. It was a two story building where I saw many classics. American Graffiti, Superdad, Jaws, ET, Return of the get the gist.
The railroad tracks are in front of those places and the beautiful old buildings are to the left. Before the changes all of those used to get water in them. 

On the other side of the railroad tracks Murder Creek runs and Murder Creek and Burnt Corn Creek converge together just to east of this bridge above. In the distance is the Piggly Wiggly and other businesses. I think it might be time for the Piggly Wiggly to get an opportunity to be bought out and move a little farther out.

That is just a snippet of it. It goes in many other directions and affects so many businesses which in this time we are living in don't need all that. 
My heart breaks.

Let's move my brain to a lighter topic...sports.

Auburn is playing Georgia this weekend. I love the Auburn / Georgia game. It is by far my favorite game and has been for as long as I can remember. I think it is true rivalry. I know as an Auburn person I am supposed to like the alabama game more, but I don't. It has its place, but I often think it is too emotional and takes away from a fun rivalry. And of course, nowadays I don't even get upset about losing to alabama. I think of them more as a pro team. Now, Georgia is going to slaughter us this weekend too, but I still look forward to the beginning of the game at least. What I am a loss about is - HOW could they (the SEC officials) move this game to October? Is is just one that simply NEEDS to be played in November for life to feel just right. They really should have discussed this matter with me!!!

The Atlanta Braves are in the playoffs so I am very happy about that. Let's go Braves!!!!!!!!!!!! Now the Braves and baseball in October is a good thing. 
Really the people making decisions about sports should talk to me about scheduling:)

Cross Stitching

I know I was trying to keep these posts separate but I am failing now that I am caring for Palmer.
I veered away temporarily from some of my larger projects for some instant gratification. I didn't think I needed any fall stitching, so I didn't seek out any new patterns. When I put out all my fall stitches it gave me the itch so I remembered my state flowers had some Black Eyed Susans. I think they went with Maryland. 

I think this is a great late summer and early fall addition to my stitches. I just backed it with some felt. It turned out cute to me.

I also wanted to stitch my mother a Santa this year. I plan to make a flat fold finish with an easel built into it. I have no idea if she will like it or not. She has always liked Santas and has quite a few that I help her put out, but there is a real possibility that she will dismiss it. As I stitch I am praying for her too.

I picked out my Prairie Schooler Santa and started it with a brighter red with her in mind. I stitched but then I questioned whether it would match the fabric I planned to use with it.

I know it is hard to see from the above picture...remember cloudy everyday. I think it might be too bright for the fabric, so I started again on the other end with the called for darker red.

I think it might match better, but either way I am going to stitch it twice. I have another piece of this color fabric with a little different pattern and I will make two of them. One will go to her and I will either keep the other or use as a gift this year. Stay tuned.

I am always showing pics of Lindsay's home and her doings but this time Katie has been changing things. She had Paul Allen working last weekend. They did this to their front entry hall.

I took this picture from her Instagram because it was way better than the photo I took. I even loved the new rug. She is going to hang photographs above this wall.

They even put in a new light.

Opposite that wall, she put in a command center. I love it.

To the left of that is the kitchen entrance and then opposite it is the laundry room, but all of this is where they come in at the front door. It is just perfect. 

They are adding a larger baseboard to the house as they have time. They are planning to redo their bathroom when they can get the worker there. That would be the money saved from not having a big wedding. 

Now, to share my little buddy. 

I am the worst picture taker because from these you would never know he smiles all the time. His nickname needs to be Smiley. I am enjoying my time with him. 

We were all so worried about how Tucker was going to take the news of Palmer staying with me, but he was a grown up boy. He cried a wee bit but he has gone into school everyday with no tears since the first day. He gives me a hug and can't wait to see his little brother every afternoon. I truly think he loves going to daycare. He sees his friends and likes learning. 

So you can see I am blessed. That is what I have been up to. I realized I have no new Gus pictures. I will remedy that on the next post.

Now, for a little sunshine in the Sunshine State,